The name of Erndtebrück in southern North Rhine-Westphalia isn’t an easy one to get off tongue if you’re a native English speaker. Yet, that’s not a big deal because you’re here to see the place rather than trying to pronounce it every five minutes. ;-)
The first thing you should know about Erndtebrück is it’s a town of nine villages; and despite many of them originating in the Middle Ages, it doesn’t have a medieval flair like a number of other German towns that have formidable castles and Stadtmauern with defense towers and entry gates.
No, Erndtebrück has a “hamlet” type of vibe instead, but does have quite a few of half-timbered houses in case you’re wondering.
Wait, those framework houses aren’t medieval — so I guess that doesn’t count, or does it? ;-)
A number of Erndtebrück’s villages don’t even have 500 residents. Birkefehl, in fact, has less than 400 people living here — and an Iron Age graveyard.
Oh, I guess parts of Erndtebrück are much older than just the Middle Ages.
The smallest village of Erndtebrück is the shire of Röspe, an area ruled over by the Graf von Wittgenstein at one point. Funny considering Röspe only had seven people living here at one time in history…
It really doesn’t matter that Erndtebrück’s villages aren’t very big — gives you room to move around without being crowded. Imagine how quiet it’ll be while you’re hiking along the Mäanderweg (a 25.4km circular hiking route that starts/ends here), or even just stopping through on the 154km Rothaarsteig.
Either way, the countryside of Erndtebrück is what steals the show with all its meadows, forests, and tiny streams that decorate the landscape. There couldn’t possibly be a prettier place to hike, bike, swim, golf, or ski around here.
Tired? Don’t sweat it, you can stay in little rustic cottages with names like Bear Creek Lodge — barely 100 meters to the entrance to the forest. Or, if something more historical is what you want, I’d suggest the Gingerbread House that’s 170 years old; or the Old Watermill, a half-timbered building built in 1779 that’s now a guesthouse.
At least their names are easy enough to pronounce.
Alright, I translated them for ya… ;-)